This beautiful study in violets and reds took weeks to paint and it changed a lot over time. Pam kept it in the fridge between sittings and it held up remarkably well for the length of time, despite losing a few bits in the process.
Here is the original drawing, wonderfully rendered in great detail. Both works retain a great sense of roundness and dimension.
Kathryn loves to paint branches... the woody parts with all their bumps and shapes... she calls it "dessert"... the reward after wrestling with the hard-to-control washes below the veining in the leaves. It's hard to see the variety of colours in the photograph, but this branch has blue and green and yellow and violet in it.
PAM COHEN Turban Squash | Cucurbita maxima cultivar
Pam painted the brilliant orange of this winter squash like a beacon illuminating the darkness of winter.Not just a play of light and colour but also of shape... the square in the circle, the circles in the square, stripes and spots and textures, and the deep centre in all its detail.
What she lacks in culinary charms she more than makes up for in sheer good looks...
Described in the nineteenth century as "the most beautiful in color, and the
in quality, of all the varieties of squash;...coarse, watery and insipid."
KATHRYN MACDONALD Douglas Fir | Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii
The distinctive cone of a Douglas Fir... Kathryn's most recent painting of an elegant branch stripped of its needles reveals the intricate texture of the wood and its "mouse tail" tipped cone suspended in space.
Kathryn tells me that the long curly tips of this unique cone, some of which have fallen off as it dried, are called mouse tails. Here's why...
Amazing and unusual autumn colours on this small branch of poplar leaves!
This detail shows some of the remarkable colour patterns and the fine brushwork in the stem.
These leaves were painted on Arches 300lb hot pressed paper. There was much less flocking this time, and the crisp edges were easier to achieve (see 2 posts below, Poplar Leaves # 1, for notes on paper comparison with Fabriano).
There have been quite a few botanical artists experiencing problems with this paper lately, including Kathryn. It has a tendency to bleed and make washes blotchy and hard to handle. Crisp edges have been hard to achieve, and the consistency of the paper is proving unreliable.
Some artists are returning to Arches, as you will see with Kathryn's next painting.
Others are trying out Moulin du Roy, sized with starch instead of the usual gelatin.
This Oregon Grape branch was found in the woods in early spring near Kathryn Macdonald's home in Port Moody. This is one of Kathryn's first botanical paintings... a very promising start in a new direction. She came to the studio with a degree in studio art from Emily Carr, but with no previous watercolour experience. After an initial struggle with the new medium, Kathryn now says she thinks she's found an artistic home in botanical painting. I think so, too.
A broken robin's egg floating safely to earth in its dried bramble leaf boat...
Painted mostly in drybrush, with little strokes of colour, much like egg-tempera... crisp, clean and clear. This is a close-up view so you can see some of the details... the original composition is the same with a lot more white space around the subject.
A classic corsage composition... Renee captured the colour and details beautifully in this charming painting.
Again, the painting was preceded by a detailed drawing.
Tonal studies like this one and Max Wu's below are very helpful to the painting process, when the subject is drooping or changing too quickly. They assist in getting the shadows right, and in figuring out the subtle shifts in colour that may be lost as the plant ages.
Ena originally thought she had a Red-Tailed Hawk feather on her drawing board but had to laugh when her majestic bird turned out to be a Wild Turkey! This feather is approximately 12 inches long and was painted life size over a period of several months. ... Usually a very speedy painter, Ena took her time to get the details just right, to great success. Congratulations, Ena... it was worth the wait!
Susan painted this large leaf in the fall... We usually see Brunnera in clusters close to the ground, missing the grace of the stem with its gentle curve and the interesting raised-vein pattern under the leaf.
Painting or drawing something like this can help us to see it with new eyes...